Are you curious about why marketers can’t stop talking about the effectiveness of pay per click advertising?

It’s estimated that pay per click ads are going to bring in over $97 million in revenue for businesses that invest in it this year, and that number is only expected to grow as time goes on.

Despite its importance, there are still plenty of professionals asking themselves ‘what is pay per click?’ and wondering if it’s worth using it.

If you’re looking for pay per click strategies that make sense and a good rundown of why people love pay per click marketing, you’ve come to the right place.

Are you ready to learn about the benefits of pay per click advertising and best practices for your first pay per click campaign? Read on to learn everything you need to learn about pay per click marketing.

What Is Pay Per Click?

Let’s start off with the basics and define what pay per click is.

Pay per click marketing, known as PPC, involves advertising within a search engine’s sponsored results by bidding on the keywords connected to your product.

Through a combination of keywords and targetting, search engines can display relevant ads in their results. The cost of the click can vary and is affected by a variety of factors including keywords, platforms, and audience type.

How Does Pay Per Click Work?

User’s searches fuel pay per click advertising.

When you use search engines like Google or Bing they provide you with two sets of results: organic results and sponsored results.

Organic results make their way to the first page of search results through a successful SEO strategy. These results show up naturally and have no money driving traffic to them.

Sponsored results are there because someone paid to have their ad displayed. PPC ads will show up as the first few results in a search.

Setting up a PPC ad in Google, Bing, or a different search engine is simple.

First, you choose the keyword you want to bid on then create an ad to display. Once you’ve done that, you can move on to targeting.

When your ad is live you get charged for the clicks it generates. Once you decide to end the campaign, you shut it off and your ads are no longer displayed.

Why Do People Use PPC?

PPC can meet a variety of marketing and advertising goals like increasing sales, generating leads, and promoting brand awareness.

PPC marketing comes with a lot of benefits. Here are some of the top reasons why people set up PPC campaigns.

Improve Search Engine Rankings

We did mention that SEO can help improve organic traffic, but it’s not the only way to get to the top of search results.

PPC ads are a great way for you to earn top positioning in search without having to wait for your SEO strategy to work its magic. SEO can improve your rankings over time, but PPC can improve them instantly.

If you optimize your ad, it’ll sit high on the page where people are more likely to see it.

Reach A Targeted Audience

Every search engine’s goal is to provide the most relevant search results possible to its users. They’ll use a mix of keywords and location data to determine what to display to users.

If people see your ad in search, it’s safe to assume that they were looking for your product or service.

PPC is a very direct form of advertising that’s meant to appeal to a certain kind of audience.

Traditional advertising on TV or in print reaches a very wide audience. Casting a wide net used to be the only strategy marketers could use, but a wide net may not be what you need.

Imagine spending thousands of dollars marketing to people that aren’t interested in your business or its products and services.

If you’re a women’s clothing boutique owner in Maine, why bother spending time and money on appealing to a single man that lives in Iowa?

PPC marketing gives you the power to keep your ads hyper-focused. You can target by location, only make your ads visible at certain times and can edit your ads whenever you see fit.

Control Your Ads And Budget

One of the downsides to traditional advertising is the way you’re forced to spend money.

As an example, let’s say that you put together $10,000 a month for a print ad to run in the local paper. When you sign up for the ad spot, you’re locked into a 3-month contract that you have to honor.

If you learn that your ad is a dud in the first month you run it, you’re stuck with it.

You can’t adjust the terms to make it work for you. You may not need an ad that takes up a quarter of a page above the fold, but since you signed up for it, you have no choice.

If you replace newspaper with billboards or TV ads, it’s the same situation but in a different format. Traditional advertising methods don’t give businesses enough wiggle room to change course if they need to.

With PPC marketing, the power is in your hands. You can adjust images and text on the fly and can make your budget whatever you need to.

Have Fast Results

Traditional advertising doesn’t only cost a lot of money, it can also take a while to set up and see results.

If you buy a billboard on the side of a busy highway you have to wait for the crew to come out and set everything up. If you buy space in a local paper you have to spend time getting images and text approved. Then you have to wait for the paper to publish your piece.

With PPC ads, everything you want to display can be set up within a matter of minutes.

Simplified Testing

Because PPC ads are so easy to set up and change, it makes testing a breeze for marketers.

Think about how long it would take to learn how traditional ads resonate with your audience.

If your company has a huge budget, you may devote some money and time to a focus group. You’ll set up different sessions, interview different people, and after a few weeks of analysis, you’ll have your results.

Most people don’t have the time or money to test things through a focus group. Businesses have to release their ads and hope that it appeals to audiences.

PPC ads can easily allow you to A/B test images and content so you can pinpoint what resonates with your audience.

You don’t have to set aside time to speak with a group or talk to individuals. PPC marketing makes it easy to test new things and get almost instant data from analytics.

Easy To Measure Results

Let’s say that your company recently filmed and released a 30-second ad to air on local TV stations. How would you test the effectiveness of the ad you put time and money into?

Aside from asking a new customer if they happened to see your ad on TV, you don’t have much to work with in terms of measuring impact.

The exact opposite is true with PPC ads. Real-time analytics make it easy to see which ads are performing well and which ones aren’t.

When you use PPC marketing, there’s no mystery around which ads are successful and which ones flop. Everything you need to know is in the data you collect.

You can see which keywords have the highest click-through rates. You’ll be able to see which ads lead to direct purchases and which ones only lead to website visits.

Best PPC Marketing Practices

Now that you know why people choose to put money and time into PPC campaigns, you’re eager to start working on your own campaign.

We can’t stress the importance of having a pay per click marketing agency set up your first campaign. They’re going to know the ins and outs of current best PPC strategies, and they can provide essential guidance.

We do recommend using an agency, but we also recommend learning a bit about best practices before you start shopping around.

If PPC marketing agencies follow these practices, you’ll know that you’re in good hands.

Make Ads That Address The Audience

If you want your ads to perform well you’re going to want to use language that can get the most clicks and conversions possible.

One of the easiest ways to alter text to appeal to readers is to use words like “you” and “your” in your ad copy.

Speaking directly to your audience makes the ad more engaging and puts their wants and needs at the center of your message. You’ll be able to create a friendly and open relationship with the reader by making messages more personalized.

Take Advantage Of Targeting

There are so many different ways people can target ads in PPC campaigns. If you aren’t using targeting, you aren’t handling PPC the right way.

One of the most essential targeting features involves location. You don’t want to waste money advertising to people that are too far away from you. Spend time using location targeting features to make sure that you’re only going for locals.

Once you’ve mastered the art of local targeting, you can focus on other ways to target your content. Consider making certain ads visible during a certain time of day, or use device targeting to bring in more mobile traffic from iPhones.

Make Your Landing Pages Stand Out

The PPC ads people see are only one part of the advertising equation. The landing page you tie to your ad can be as important as the ad itself, if not more so.

Once you master the art of the perfect landing page, your PPC campaign will be a success.

First off, take some time to think about landing page design. Think about what action you want visitors to perform on your page, then design the page to make it as easy as possible for the customer to do what you want.

Do you want to collect more email addresses to add to your sales email lists? Design a landing page with a form at the top of that page that makes it easy for people to submit their email and contact information.

Are you designing a PPC campaign to push a certain product or service? Make sure that the content and visuals on the page inform the reader about what you’re selling, and make it appealing for them to browse.

Go Local

It doesn’t matter if your a small business owner that only services people in your town or if you’re a big business with hundreds of locations around the world.

You should target every ad you run towards the physical locations your business has.

Local search results matter to people. By localizing your ads, you’re appealing to a targetted group of people that are close by and want to use your products or services.

Another good tip for people wanting to attract local traffic is to make sure that your business profiles are up to date in local search directories.

Your Google My Business page can do a lot to affect SEO and alter search results. Once people click on your ad and decide they’re interested in your business, they’re going to want to make sure they can contact you.

Making sure that your business name, contact information, and hours of operation are correct can make it easy for interested customers to find you.

Next Steps

Now that you’re no longer wondering the answer to the ‘what is pay per click’ question, you’re ready for your business to have its own campaign.

We’re always happy to talk business here, and can’t wait to take on a new challenge. Contact us so we can talk about PPC strategy and think about other ways to address your digital marketing needs.

While you’re waiting to hear from us, take some time to learn more about search engine and digital marketing from our blog.

Do you want to learn about SEO so you can have a more complete digital marketing strategy? Check out our post on local SEO and how it can help your business.